Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bush May Face More Partisan Resistance Democrats, GOP Split on 100 Days Review

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Bush May Face More Partisan Resistance Democrats, GOP Split on 100 Days Review

Article excerpt

Byline: Bruce I. Friedland, Times-Union staff writer

WASHINGTON -- As seen through the partisan-tinted glasses of Capitol Hill, the review of President Bush's first 100 days by Florida and Georgia legislators is decidedly mixed.

Republicans hail their commander-in-chief, praise his conservative policies and tax cut and point to his persistent but low-key style that they say has changed the tone of Washington.

"He's off to a great start," said Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., whose district includes part of Jacksonville. "He's a strong leader and doing what he said he would do."

But Democrats, even moderates, sound increasingly restive, uneasy that the size of the tax cut Bush proposed would leave few resources with which to cut deals with the White House.

And in this way, the first 100 days may be less of a preview of what's to come than the wind-up to a much bigger partisan dustup.

"I'm dismayed with what's happened in the area of the environment," said Sen. Bob Graham, D-Fla. Bush decided to scrap American participation in the international Kyoto treaty limiting the emission of gases connected with global warning. And days later, the president killed rules that would have significantly lowered the level of arsenic allowed in water.

And while Bush's education proposal has encouraged Graham, he and eight other moderate Democratic senators held a news conference Thursday to lambaste the administration for failing to provide the necessary funds to make reform work.

Then there is the view from the party's liberal bloc, which started the year deeply distrustful of Bush: They haven't mellowed.

"I think he is firmly establishing himself as the polluters' president," said Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Fla., whose district includes part of Jacksonville.

She can't resist taking a dig at the contested Florida election results. …

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